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06 January 2010


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I'm so excited to begin the discussion on this fabulous book! My thoughts on The First Epoch are posted here.

I like how you broke down each chapter into bullet points. And, Marian Halcombe is my heroine!


Loving this book and blogging along.



I'm very interested to see what you'll make of the Marian/Walter/Laura relationships. Marian is a pretty amazing and admirable woman, I agree, but she has certain tendencies that become a trifle annoying. I won't spoil anything, but I think you'll see what I mean before long.


I finished this section up yesterday. I haven't had time to blog my thoughts yet though. This is my first time reading Woman in White. I did see the movie last fall--the 1948 movie version. Marian was anything but ugly. So I was a bit described to find her described so.

Ms Avery

I absolutely love Marian.

(Apparently Collins got a lot of fanmail asking who Marian was based on, and did she want a husband. I think this is awesome.)

Sarah I.

Yay, just got my first post up: http://tuulenhaiven.wordpress.com/2010/01/06/the-big-read-v-the-woman-in-white-1st-installment/

I'm loving the book so far. That moment when Marian is introduced is awesome!


I remember thinking Marian was annoying the first time I read this book (for a class) but when I read it again a few months later I loved her. She's probably one of my favorite book characters of all time.


Ooh, I like your idea for a Mr. Fairlie/Mrs. Bennet pairing. Serve 'em both right. :-)


Yay, guys -- thanks for letting me know about your posts, and I'm so glad you're enjoying the book thus far! I'm loving it so much that I feel like I'm going to have to go back and read all of the Wilkie Collins I haven't read yet (which is... erm... everything except The Moonstone.

Gina, I'm looking forward to seeing how the relationships play out. It almost seems, already, that Laura is taking a child's role -- she seemed curious and maybe a little jealous (but still allowed the grown-ups to do their work) while Walter and Marion were looking over the letters -- but that sort of role is what Walter seems to approve of in a romantic relationship. Marion would be (at least, judging from what I've read thus far) an equal, which doesn't seem to be what he's interested in romantically.

Ms Avery, that's so cool about Wilkie's fanmail -- and that real people wanted to marry Marion. It's so nice to know that literary crushes have been around forever.

Sarah I.

Whoa, interesting thought about Wilkie's romantic ideals - I of course think Marian is the far more awesome of the two sisters, but she's definitely too strong willed and opinionated for a proper Victorian woman. And UGLY apparently! :)

Sarah I.

Whoops, somehow Bellezza's link has been eaten by mine...!


There -- I think it's fixed now. Thanks for letting me know, Sarah!

I don't know anything about Wilkie's personal life, so I'm not attributing Walter's tastes to him!

Jes at YI

I am following along - although probably posting only once a week. Love it so far - more tomorrow.


Wilkie's personal life was pretty wild'n'crazy, especially by Victorian standards, but I don't know much about the women with whom he was involved. I couldn't say whether they were more like Marian, or Laura, or both. (They must have been very forgiving, though. . . . )


I've posted a small thing about what I've read so far (I'm just starting chapter XI in the first epoch) for my meme today: http://wp.me/pmXiL-14I

My copy of the book has some interesting notes in the back about certain things in TWIW and how they relate to Wilkie's life; apparently Marian MIGHT have been based on George Eliot, who was also ugly (and friends with Wilkie), but some other dudes have said that Marian resembles one of Wilkie's mistresses, Martha Rudd. His other mistress, Caroline Graves, supposedly looks somewhat like Laura. :D


That's a very interesting theory about George Eliot, because Eliot's real first name was Mary Anne -- and she sometimes spelled it Marian. If it's true, I wonder if she recognized herself . . . and what she thought of "The lady is ugly!"

Melissa Wiley

You know what? It's time I read this book. My best friend gave me a copy--it's her favorite book--13 years ago but I never read it. (The gift came in the midst of grim circumstances, and the book wound up being tainted by association. It smelled like hospital.)

13 years is long enough: I'm pulling it off the shelf at last. Thanks for piquing my interest.

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